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OPINION: Chattooga Mountain Education: What happens to Chattooga County Children now?

Chattooga Mountain Education

What happens to Chattooga County Children now?

Opinion Article By: Christy Slayton, Moms of Liberty Chattooga Chapter     August 31, 2023

Chattooga Mountain Education High School (CMEHS) has been the topic of conversation in our community…or have they? Their vision is clear – to be the first choice for a second chance. CMEHS seeks to provide an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma in a non-traditional setting.

Some may not view CMEHS as having the same distinction as our other two local school options and may see CMEHS as a general catch all for students with special circumstances and this is far from accurate. CMEHS is designed to reach deeper by offering individualized pathways to success that traditional schools are not always able to provide. CMEHS provides parents and students with a school choice that accommodates the non-traditional high school students by offering flexible hours in a self-paced mastery based program which means students work until they pass. The teachers and administrators who work at CMEHS are as committed to the students they serve as the teachers and administration working in our other two school options within the county.

In November of 2019, CMEHS opened their doors in Chattooga County and offered a third option for students in grades 9th-12th in our community and the surrounding counties of Walker and Floyd. The value of their mission and services was demoralized by recent legislation which pulled state funding by the passing of SB153. The fate of Chattooga County children under the age of 18 will now be left for Chattooga and Trion High schools to decide.

CMEHS Assistant Superintendent, Joe Cash, has been involved in the task of negotiations with thirty six schools, including Chattooga County HS and Trion HS.  Guidelines for drafting a memorandum of agreement have been sent to the superintendents of each school with the goal of continuing to operate a non-traditional option for students to earn a high school diploma.

Mr. Cash stated he has spoken with the Superintendent of the Chattooga County school system and said the Superintendentwas very polite but voiced that “they” intend to handle these kids “in house.” The Superintendent of Trion City Schools has not responded as of this writing.

The State of Georgia has tasked all of us at the local level with the responsibility of providing a quality education to ALL of our children, not just those who are able to comfortably maneuver through the standard 8 am – 3pm, traditional curriculum. I am perplexed as to why this conversation has not been started with every school board member and every parent in this community.

I hope it starts here; now that you know.

Villeda Concrete
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